reminder that quarantines helped in 1918 and are today..a lot in common with the two events

When considering the response to Covid-19, it is important to remember that we are facing a rare situation in that the medical profession has been taken by surprise.  Yes, we have a lot of vaccines for diseases, including flu, but this is unlike the flus that our doctors are knowledgable about.  Rarely does a flu come along that has such a devastating affect.  The reason is that it is not “your daddy’s flu”.

Many people are frustrated because they don’t remember ever seeing a quarantine situation where healthy people, presumably healthy, were told to stay home.  But there was one time when it happened.  That time was during the pandemic of 1918-1919.

So how did the 1918 pandemic happen and how people respond.  It started in March of 1918 with three waves.  One was later in 1918 and the next one was in 2019.  The first wave was NOT the worst, that came later.  There were some real common factors in both cases.  Travel was one of them.

Now in 1918, the travel was not the type we do together for pleasure.  It was during World War I and the travel was largely comprised of soldiers, but none-the-less, there was considerable interaction between people from many different locations.  In addition, the medical network did not have the equipment we have now.  We have ventilators today which has saved some lives.

However, quarantine was one of the key factors that kept people alive then, and is working where people have respected those efforts today.  Both during the 1918 pandemic and this one, people have gotten tired of being “trapped” and ventured out thinking the virus had likely played out.  Each time they did that, the virus shot back up again and proceeded to be worst that before.

If you check out the CDC report, it shows that more people died of the pandemic than died as a result of World War 1 and that before it was over, about one out of every three people on the planet were affected.  Oh, and the CDC has several sections with interesting information about the pandemic of 1918.

What we have in common with the situation of 1918 is that there is even more travel today than there was then – even with the troop transport.  That makes the disease easier to spread, not harder, so the danger today is much worst from that regard. In addition, then and now, there were things about the disease that was new.  I would suggest that Covid-19 is lots worst in that viruses have had time to get used to and fight off many, if not most, of our go to anti-virals.

Just like in 1918, we are in new terrority.  We can not treat this virus the way we do the common cold, or even the “common” flu.  It is a new thing totally.  We still don’t know for sure that one episode immunizes you to another bout.  That answer needs to be found before I will trust anything about being safe.  There is certainly not a vaccine yet.  In addition, they are still being surprised by new ramifications of this virus…like the toxic shock reaction that younger people get in some cases.

Now, Covid-19 has killed more people than the flu has for a large number of years.  Although, I found a report on Statnews that said that 80,000 people died in 2018-2019, that is amended on the CDC page to 61,000. And looking at the statistics, also on the CDC page, that was the biggest year going back to 2010.

But then the Covid-19 has already killed close to 90,000 in this country this year, making it more dangerous and more expensive in terms of loss of life than the flu in modern times already, and it is not even though the first wave yet, and we don’t know how many more may be coming.

Personally, I am going to be very very slow about trusting any ReOpen effort.  It is a strain to stay at home, and sometimes I get bored.  But I can handle being bored if it keeps me alive. The argument for “freedom” doesn’t make sense to me, because freedom won’t do me any good if I am dead.

I don’t intend to frequent local businesses any more than necessary until the death toll goes to almost zero.  Since I can order food from a delivery service, which may tack on a bit to the bill but not that much, and get my cats needs met as well, except for actual vet visits, the cat and I are fine staying in most of the time.  She enjoys having me at home to nag at about food and pettings.

I will continue to go to the drive thru or get stuff to bring home at my favorite locally owned and operated restaurants, but not chains.  As for any clothes needs I have, Amazon ships and their clothing is not that expensive – in fact it is cheaper than department store clothes in the mall.  They are not necessarily top shelve, but hey, I am retired and not going that many places, who do I need to impress.

Finally, staying in keeps me away from those careless people who seem to think their “freedom to move about” take priority over other people right to stay alive.

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